Headline: Towards a Geoeconomics of Energy Transition in Central Asia’s Hydrocarbon-Producing Countries

The global energy transition and the growing ambition of decarbonisation policies in the world’s leading economies are bound to affect Central Asia’s three hydrocarbon producers, yet there has been little research on the issue. This chapter uses the theoretical toolbox of geoeconomics to analyse the implications of energy transition for Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan across four dimensions: resources, energy infrastructure, strategic industries and clean energy technologies and the rules of international economic interaction. Kazakhstan remains the region’s renewable energy frontrunner, while Turkmenistan is yet to make its first steps. Despite a late start, Uzbekistan is benefiting from the falling cost of renewable energy technologies and has attracted major industry players. Rather than pursuing fossil-fuel phaseout, these countries seek to capture more value from their hydrocarbon resources—especially natural gas—while adding renewables to the mix to bolster energy security and help decarbonise the economy. However, infrastructure constraints remain an obstacle to low-carbon energy production. Lacking the influence to shape the international rules of engagement on energy transition, the three countries are employing a variety of strategies to manage their asymmetrical dependence on key partners—be they China, the EU or Russia—and to diversify their international engagement.

Publication Year
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Monographs and Edited Volumes

Zabanova, Y. (2023). Towards a Geoeconomics of Energy Transition in Central Asia’s Hydrocarbon-Producing Countries. In R. Sabyrbekov, I. Overland, & R. Vakulchuk (Eds.), Climate Change in Central Asia: Decarbonization, Energy Transition and Climate Policy (pp. 95-107). Cham: Springer Nature Switzerland.

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Politics and Governance of the Global Energy Transition